Look out – it’s JAWS!!!

Posted in jaws, music, seattle on April 29th, 2011 by Babs

Let me just say this up front – don’t ever get into a dance-off with Mike Jaworski.  I got coaxed into a) retrieving a forgotten laptop; b) delivering it to a hotel room during last year’s SxSW; c) polishing off a bottle of bourbon with Jaws and fellow Seattle booker/musician/friend Greg Garcia upon delivery and d) judging a dance-off between the two of them. No contest. Jaworski will kick your ass every time.


While he and Greg wouldn’t join me in polishing off SxSW by leaving to see the legendary Zeros (it was pretty freezing/blustery outside, but c’mon – I offered to pay for the taxi!) he’ll always be one of my favorite Seattleites. His old band The Cops kicked (and re-kick) some serious ass, and his newest outfit Virgin Islands continues that kick-in-the-ribs post-punk immediacy of amazingness.  They, too, will kick your ass every time.


Jaws (I will never cease to be amused typing/saying that) also books the incredible Sunset Tavern, where he curates great music.  No one is more perfectly suited – the guy CREATES great music. He also runs an incredible label called Mt. Fuji that has released records by The Maldives, amongst others.  Dude KNOWS good music.


Oh – he also bartends!  And calls Devi’s Apricot contributor/good pal Ian Moore out on PNW Mexican food!!


So here he is, weighing in on my favorite topics. Go see Virgin Islands’ record release show on Friday, May 13 at the Columbia City Theater. Just don’t get into a dance-off with him – and if you make me judge it, just know in advance that I already know that you will TOTALLY lose.


Let’s party with the good stuff, with JAWS!!!!



I suppose it goes without explanation that one of the many occupational hazards of being a touring musician (and tending bar) is access to plentiful amounts of booze. Throughout the years of both aforementioned endeavors, I’ve seen my tastes and habits in both food and drink change. Thankfully, mostly for the better… my early years of touring were spent guzzling as much beer as possible, all while taking any free shot given to me. As a younger man, I seemed more resilient to these long nights and late mornings of over consumption. The hangovers in the long van ride the next morning seemed much easier back then, or maybe I was just more tolerant to feeling like shit all day long. Either way, as the years passed, I gradually started listening to my body and refining what booze and food I could eat, and how much was enough. The years of shoveling any kind of fast food and cheep beer down my gullet are thankfully over. I really don’t profess to be an uber-pretentious foodie or booze snob. I just know what makes me feel good, and I just happen to like good booze and food. The act of consumption is one of the most holy things we can do to our body, so why fill our earthly temples with toxic crap. Let’s party with the good stuff!


Fortunately for me, my experience taught me that one of my favorite types of alcohol is also one that agrees with me physically and mentally. That lovely libation is tequila. Like a lot of people, my first tequila experience was tarnished in my early twenties after downing a few shots of crappy Cuervo Gold, and I paid the price. It was many years later on one of the early tours my band The Cops were on, when my bandmate John Randolph introduced me to Cazadores Reposado. He convinced me it was much better than the previous offender. I tried it and I was hooked. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many more high-end tequilas (Casa Noble anyone?) but I will always come back to Cazadores as my go-to, mid-priced tequila. This tequila possesses a degree of smoothness with enough of a peppery bite to alerts the senses. Yes please, and thank you.


The aforementioned tequila is the tequila of choice in a shot I concocted called the “Caca del Toro” which is named after Paul Newman’s erstwhile fishing boat. It’s a simple and delicious shot that resembles a little margarita, but with more kick (as a shot should). I’m sure I didn’t invent this, but my version is good enough to pass on. Have at it:


Caca del Toro (r.i.p. Paul Newman)

2 fresh lime wedges, muddled with ice

1 ½ oz. Reposado tequila (Cazadores preferred)

½ oz. Gran Marnier liquor


Pour the tequila and Gran Marnier float in a pint glass full of ice and the muddled lime wedges. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Enjoy!


My next drink invention is in the works. I call it the Lion Tamer. The three main ingredients are scotch, a pith hat, and a whip. I still haven’t found a bar willing to put this one on the menu. I guess it’s time to look into opening my own.


Lastly, Ian Moore is a wonderful, intelligent, talented and handsome man. However, he needs to look a little harder to find some quality Mexican food in the Northwest. I generally agree with him, but there are a few places worthy of praise. Ian, are you up for dinner? You’re buying, right?
Michael Jaworski

Mt. Fuji Records




Coming Soon:

– Point Juncture, WA – Handsome Orders – LP / CD / Digital – May 2011

– Follow That Bird – Wooden Bones – 7″ / Digital – spring 2011


Out Now:

– Wow & Flutter – Equilibrio! – LP / CD / Digital – October 19th, 2010

– Spiral Stairs / Long Winters -split 7″ / Digital – September 21st,  2010

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Stew on this, courtesy of Kultur Shock

Posted in music on April 1st, 2011 by Babs

Val Kultur Shock

The only thing predictable about Kultur Shock is their unpredictability – whether that’s the maniacal, whiplash-inducing changes in their impossibly uncategorizable songs or the fact that the normally (overly) responsible band member is a week late getting you his contribution to your blog. Doesn’t matter – predictability is boring. And Kultur Shock is anything BUT boring.


I guess world music is hip and gypsy-influenced music is the new Tom Jones – the way to melt someone’s underpants, or get them to throw them onstage.  I missed Kultur Shock’s recent Seattle record release show thanks to a throbbing headache and an enduring hatred of Belltown on weekends, so I’m not sure if anyone tossed their tidy whities or trampy thongs (or, more probably, their SNL sketch-worthy Euro briefs/banana hammocks/budgie-smugglers) onto the Crocodile’s semi-recently renovated non-grunge-y platform. Doesn’t matter – this is not your grandmother’s gypsy music.  And I’m pretty sure we’re all grateful that her underpants didn’t make it to the stage…


In all seriousness (can I get away with that phrase?!?!) I fucking love this band as much as I find it 100% impossible to impart their brilliance through the use of mere words. It’s like attempting to explain the ecstatic poetry of Rumi to a bunch of Tea Baggers – er, Partiers. (I think the tea baggers would get it…)


Rude, crude, smarter than you, melodic, soul-searching, revolutionary, displaced, socio-political, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, (in)sane, brilliant. Incendiary – if you take that word to mean igniting thought and feeling.


America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, right?  Nothing is braver than escaping oppressive regimes to come here and create music that tickles your cranium while it moves you to the core of your physical self. You NEED Kultur Shock, who have delivered their most direct and body/mind-bending missive yet in the form of “Ministry Of Kultur.”


Guitarist Val Kiossovski (former bar manager at the Croc – back when it ruled – and current co-proprietor of Lower Queen Anne’s Solo) decided to kick down a recipe not for the perfect cocktail or dish, but for perfect music. I’ll let you interpret.  In the meantime, I highly suggest you get acquainted with his band.




Like every good stew, the main body of it is the most important- it’s gotta rock and groove well, too. Cannot be too meatheady, but can’t be super dreadlocky, either. It’s gotta be just right and have raw texture, so you can taste the drummer’s sweat.


Then you add quite a bit of raw songwriting talent, along with big incontrollable pipes. Imagine it being the chunk of meat or tofu, whatever you taste is. Gotta give it time, simmer it on low fire, let the fat melt.

Then thicken the plot. Put the glue on. Put raunchy four and six strings, mix it to a point where you have no idea when one ends and the other starts, be sure they groove, wail, scream, riff, go million miles an hour, stop and go and generally- drive you nuts.


Then you add the stuff that makes it all spicy and tasty and different than any stew you’ve had. Put brass and or bow, or oboe for that matter, just put something to make the taste buds exclaim and freak out.

Whatever you do, find that secret ingredient that will make it like noone else’s dish.


And remember- the purpose of it all is for YOU to celebrate and love it.


Never worry what any famous chef is saying or the fact that you can’t go “commercial”- who cares, life is too short to imprison the art of cooking into dollar signs.


Now- share with your friends the gorgeous meal and as more people wanna taste it- keep cooking away!